Eric Lewis Liebowitz, 35, a white man, was shot and killed by Los Angeles police officers in the 5800 block of Balcom Avenue in Encino about 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5.
According to an LAPD press statement, officers with the LAPD's West Valley Division responded to a call of shots fired in the 5800 block of Jamieson Avenue. But they were later directed to Balcom Avenue, one street over. Upon arrival, Officers Alexis Padron, Dave Soissons, Brian McDonald and Jason Duplantis were setting up a perimeter when Liebowitz emerged from a house with a shotgun, the statement said. Liebowitz walked toward officers and allegedly pointed the weapon at them. Officers fired, wounding Liebowitz. They ordered him to stay on the ground, but Liebowitz got up and attempted to reach for the shotgun, the statement said. The officers fired again, killing Liebowitz.
A shotgun was recovered at the scene, and evidence suggests that Liebowitz allegedly fired at the officers, the statement said. However, the report did not say when Liebowitz actually fired his weapon. Police spokeswoman Sgt. Ruby Malachi said very little was known about the suspect.
All but one officer, Duplantis, have served with LAPD's West Valley Division for more than ten years. The Los Angeles Police Department's Force Investigation Division is looking into the shooting.
On the day of the shooting, residents living on Balcom Avenue described their neighborhood as a typical one; peaceful and quiet. "It's definitely not normal for this neighborhood," said Virginia, a long-time resident who did not want to disclose her last name.
Ron Traylor, 62, who lives near the house where the shooting occurred, said he was in his bedroom when he heard a single gunshot. "Then I heard several gunshots," Traylor added.
(You have reached the end of the weekly listing of homicide victims in Los Angeles County, Aug. 4-11, 2008.)
-Ruben Vives / LAT